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15 March 2009

Villanova: 3-seed in Phila. v. American

posted by Pete @ LetsGoNova.com
3/15/2009 06:46:00 PM
Villanova will play American University at the Wachovia Center on Thursday, March 19.

Villanova, a 3-seed, faces the 14th-seeded American Eagles, champions of the Patriot League.

Game time is yet to be determined, but since UCLA is from the West Coast, the Bruins will most likely get the 9:30 p.m. slot, leaving Villanova-American to start at 7 p.m.

Villanova is in the East region (Boston), where Pitt is the #1 and Duke is the #2 seed (and potential Sweet 16 matchup).

UCLA is the 6-seed in Villanova's Philly pod as the potential second-round matchup. UCLA as a 6-seed is a very rough break for Villanova, as the Bruins might be one of the most dangerous 6-seeds ever, just one year removed from the Final Four.

KenPom ranks UCLA as the #9 team in the nation, while Villanova is #19. If both teams make it to the second round, KenPom will actually have UCLA favored to win, if you consider the Wachovia Center a neutral court. (Which it won't be.)

UCLA has one of the best resumes for a 6-seed I've ever seen. The Bruins are 14-6 in a good Pac-10, and have some great games out of conference. UCLA blew out Villanova common opponent Notre Dame by 26. They lost to Texas at Texas by fewer points than Villanova lost to Texas in a very pro-Villanova Madison Square Garden in New York.

The good news is that UCLA itself has a rough first-round matchup with Eric Maynor and VCU.

UCLA will be tough, but aside from that, you couldn't ask for much better for Villanova. Geographically, Villanova will own the crowd in Philadelphia and is very familiar with the Wachovia Center court.

If the Wildcats are able to win their Philly pod, it's off to to Boston and potential match-ups with Duke and Pitt in the Sweet 16 and Elite 8, respectively. You have figure that Villanova will have a large contingent of alumni in Boston.

As for matchups, Villanova has already beaten Pitt this season, and I like the way Villanova matches up with Duke as long as the Wildcats can figure out a way to stop Gerald Henderson.

But Villanova might face an extremely difficult test in round-2 vs. a seasoned UCLA team. This is where having the home crowd at the Wachovia Center, Villanova's home-away-from-home, is a huge advantage. Even so, go VCU!

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At 6:35 PM, March 15, 2009, Blogger Pete @ LetsGoNova.com said...

We have a great draw after the round of 32. Duke and Pitt are totally beatable, and we have one of the best geographic draws in the nation, if not the best draw, with Philly and then Boston.

UCLA is a very tall order for the second game. The Bruins went to the final 4 last year and return Collison. All I can say is GO VCU!

At 6:37 PM, March 15, 2009, Blogger Pete @ LetsGoNova.com said...

Cuse all the way up to a #3 seed in the South -- Orange play in Miami in the first two rounds. Thank goodness they lost to Lou last night, or we might have been bumped from Philly.

Temple is in that pod too.

At 6:40 PM, March 15, 2009, Blogger Pete @ LetsGoNova.com said...

Minnesota in over SD State is a travesty.

Other than that, pretty much went as expected. Miss St. took away the spot from SD state or Creighton.

At 8:03 PM, March 15, 2009, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Look out for American's Garrison Carr. He'll throw a wrench in Nova's entire system if he's not contained.

Their current team had their first bid to the tournament last year. Don't think for a second they're not feeling more confident and working a potential upset.

At 9:20 PM, March 15, 2009, Anonymous Anonymous said...

UCLA is not the same team as last year's. they have a bunch of freshmen who have not bought into Howland's defense-first system. They really havent beaten anyone all year. Plus they're used to getting tournament games in California, playing in Philly is going to be a rude awakening for them. I have VCU upsetting them.

At 9:58 PM, March 15, 2009, Anonymous Chris Iafolla said...

Agreed, the second round matchup is tough, but I think Nova is up to the task. The solid guard play of Nova bodes well for the prospects in the tourney, as long as they choose to show up on defense. As you mentioned, getting past UCLA will be a tough test but I think it is a matchup they can win. Duke could present an interesting challenge. They are a team built around guard play and that lives and dies beyond the arc. If that matchup materializes, it has the making of a shootout.

At 10:25 PM, March 15, 2009, Blogger Pete @ LetsGoNova.com said...

Early line:

Villanova - 17

At 11:29 PM, March 15, 2009, Anonymous Anonymous said...

That is a homecourt advantage line. By far the biggest spread of the 3/14 matchups, and bigger than half the 2/15 matchups (MSU-Bob Morris and Oklahoma-Morgan State). Clearly tells you the oddsmakers are thinking this is essentially a home game for Nova.

At 12:22 AM, March 16, 2009, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hubert Davis on espn.com has us beating Pitt in the Elite 8 and losing to UNC in the final four...

At 12:31 AM, March 16, 2009, Anonymous Anonymous said...

hubert davis is a moron..please

At 3:18 AM, March 16, 2009, Anonymous Jay's Personal Chef said...

Hubert Davis may be a moron but he is my new best friend.

And Bilas also has Nova getting to the elite over his Alma. He is actually intelligent but his bracket does flow through VCU beating UCLA which is clearly an easier out for Nova. I will be rooting hard for VCU during that one.

Overall the talking heads are just that, lots of hot air with little substance. I think we can all agree a Final 4 appearance is in the cards and I never thought I would be saying that this year. It will not be easy at all but the possibility is pretty fantastic.

Go Nova.

At 7:29 AM, March 16, 2009, Anonymous Mio Kushino said...

Why are you looking toward the 2nd round when you are going to get your ass kicked by the mihgty Eagles

At 9:32 AM, March 16, 2009, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Don't look past Thursday's game Wildcat fans. This will be tight at half-time and then we'll have our way. Look for trap and press from late in the 1st half. This American team barely got by Army in their tourney. They will not last long into the 2nd half.

As for UCLA and VCU...that is a trap game for the Bruins. VCU by a bucket with the whole Wachovia Center pulling for the upset (Note: UCLA usually has a tough time in the Eastern time zone).

Lastly, while logic tells us that the Wachovia Center is a good place to be, don't think the place will be rooting for us. If Thursday's game get close late, seemingly the whole crowd in these podcontests roots for the underdog.

Lets go Wildcats! Lets take care of Thursday.

At 7:11 PM, March 16, 2009, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Remember Old Dominion in '95.. it was my Senior year and I will never forget it. Take one at a time.

The bracket looks good and we have a solid team, but we cannot worry about UCLA if we do not beat American.

If this team stays focused on each game and plays hard and smart, they will be okay.

WIN - "Whats Important Now" = American

At 9:30 PM, March 16, 2009, Anonymous Chief Kickingstallionsims said...

Yeah, he is right, you guys need to take it one game at a time until you play me and alabama st in the finals on April 6th!


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